How Stress Decreases Fertility

Most of us deal with stress at some point.  Stress is a natural, healthy response to things that happen in our day-to-day lives.  As long as we are healthy and the stress is limited, we can usually recover fairly quickly.  When stress is prolonged though, it can take a real toll on our emotional health.

How stress affects our lives

Any strong emotion, such as stress, blocks free flowing energy in our body and creates tension.  This is why some people who are under stress complain about neck, shoulder and upper back pain and headaches.  Stress can also affect our sleep, our blood pressure and our digestion.  The stress hormones produced when under chronic stress can disrupt reproductive hormonal regulation, thereby decreasing fertility.

How acupuncture helps stress

This is where acupuncture may help.  Acupuncture helps to alleviate not only the symptoms of stress, but also the actual stress itself. 

A well published, 2013 study, sought to find out why acupuncture relieves stress.  Researchers targeted the spot below the knee in rats.  Reportedly, this area in both humans and rats alleviates stress when stimulated. 

Researchers found that electronic acupuncture blocks certain stress-induced hormones.  They also found that the rats in the study that received electronic acupuncture had lower stress.  The findings of the study support what some have known and practiced for centuries.

How it works

Acupuncture releases natural pain-killing chemicals, called endorphins, in the brain. Because it is calming, you may see a decreased heart rate, lower blood pressure and relaxed muscles.  Acupuncture may also improve circulation. 

If you suffer from constant stress, acupuncture may just be the calming approach you need to deal with the problem and put yourself on the road to better health.


Acupuncture blocks cold stress-induced increases in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in the rat. J Eshkevari L, et al.  Endocrinol. 2013 Mar 15;217(1):95-104.